Calcutta Freight Brokers Association (CFBA) holds 79th AGM

Posted by Daily Shipping Times on 21-07-2017        Tweet

CFBA’s New Committee for 2017-2018

Mr. Rajiv Agarwal Chairman
Mr. Vivek Choudhary Vice Chairman
Mr. J.S Chopra Committee Member
Mr. Bharat Jain Committee Member
Mr. Ajay Chajjar Committee Member
Mr. Pawan Farmania Committee Member
Ms. Vinita Dasgupta Committee Member

...Rajiv Agarwal re-elected as Chairman & Vivek Choudhary as Vice-Chairman of CFBA

KOLKATA: Shri Rajiv Agarwal was re-elected as Chairman of The Calcutta Freight Brokers Association (CFBA) at recently held 79th Annual General Meeting at Bengal Chamber of Commerce, Kolkata.

Shri Vivek Choudhary, was re-elected as Vice Chairman of CFBA, whereas Shri J.S Chopra, Shri Bharat Jain, Shri Ajay Chajjar, Shri Pawan Farmania and Smt  Vinita Dasgupta were elected as Committee Member for the term 2017-2018.

Shri Rajiv Agarwal, Chairman, Calcutta Freight Brokers Association, in his speech, welcomed Chief Guest, Ms Audrey Dolhen, Managing Director, CMA CGM India, and other distinguished guests including Capt. Deepak Tewari, CEO, MSC Agency (I) Pvt. Ltd., Mr. Indrajeet Dasgupta, MD, MSC Agency, Mr. Indrajit Dasgupta, President, India Sub-Continent, MidEast & Malaysia, Zim Integrated Shipping Services India Pvt. Ltd, Mr. Gurudutt Deosthalee, Bombay Overseas Freight Brokers Association (BOFBA), and Mr. Jayesh Gandhi, Committee Member, BOFBA, and other dignitaries from various shipping companies.

He focussed on recent domestics as well global events which affected economy like Brexit, demonetisation, new US Administration policies and recent implementation of GST in India that has a direct implication on the shipping industry.

Highlighting on International Container trade for the year 2016-2017, Shri Agarwal said, “The year 2016 was tumultuous for the global shipping industry, as carriers were prone to financial pressures. This was true especially for the first three quarters of 2016, due to factors such as freight rates dipping to their lowest levels since 2009, Mergers and acquisitions, new alliances and the Hanjin bankruptcy, one of the largest container shipping bankruptcies in history.”

“In 2017, however, ocean freight rates showed an upward trend due to factors such as supplier consolidation and slower capacity growth. Even though carriers have consolidated, the overcapacity in the market is expected to remain in 2017 due to the slippages in 2016, but higher bunker costs and increased pricing power from the liners would provide an up thrust to freight rates. Hence, it seems that finally the clouds will pave way for the sun to shine over the shipping trade.”

Focussing on the performance of Kolkata Port Trust, the Chairman said, “In 2016-2017, the TEUs handled by the port showed a growth of 16.41%, from 6,62,891 TEUs to 7,71,676 TEUs. KoPT ranked 3rd among Major Ports in terms of container traffic handled in 2016-2017. KoPT handled 3431 ships, the highest among Indian Major Ports. However, the KoPT still remains plagued with infrastructural constraints and lack of facilities. If the esteemed authorities do not take up the task of developing a deep sea port, the shippers would be forced to look for opportunities elsewhere, seriously affecting the trade traffic at the port.”

Commenting on the role of freight brokers, the CFBA Chief explained that, “the market being dynamic and competitive, it continues to throw new challenges for our profession each day. In order to survive in these market conditions, we need to look to expand the portfolio of services provided to the clients and strive for continuous improvement and customer satisfaction. Let us spread our wings, push our boundaries because sky is the limit.”

The Association make a humble request to the shipping lines to pay brokerage on the total freight as it used to be paid. This would further cement our relationship and ensure mutual co-existence and prosperity for the trade.

“In view of implementation of GST with effect from 1st July 2017, as freight brokers we fall under the purview of service providers and are supposed to raise our bills on shipping companies charging appropriate amount of GST. This is mandatory and cannot be avoided. Various shipping companies have been following different methods of brokerage payment, some make payments through self-generated statements, this needs to be reviewed and revised.”

“As service providers, we are subject to GST rules and have to adhere by timely submission of monthly returns and payment of GST to Government. Of course, shipping companies shall get input tax credit on the GST paid to us.

We request all the shipping companies to formulate the procedure of brokerage bills submission by brokers and convey the same as soon as possible.”

Ms Audrey Dolhen, Managing Director, CMA CGM India, Chief Guest of the CFBA's 79th AGM, in her speech highlighted the global scenario of the shipping industry, and the challenges faced by the sector. She highlighted on the present economic situation in India which affects the

export-import trade, shipping and freight markets.  She pointed the fact that the markets look stronger this year than last year with more developments in port sector, new services, and new initiatives. 

CMA CGM India Chief was happy to see the new changing scenario at the East Coast of India with new developments at port like Dhamra, Kakinada, Paradip, Kolkata, Haldia, Visakhapatnam. She also pointed out the recent mergers/acquisitions of big shipping lines in last two years which adversely affected the sector as a whole.

Praising the Freight Broking community's endeavour to the maritime sector, Ms Audrey applauded CFBA's role in developing the shipping interest in Bengal and adjoining States and the Eastern zone as a whole. She also claimed that freight brokers are the essential link between the shipping lines and the export-import trade. Pointing towards Kolkata Port's strategic location and its vicinity with Nepal, she said that CMA CGM is also planning to open a base centre in Nepal with new projects of export-import cargo, which can be linked with Eastern Ports by inland waterways or roadways.

Mr. Vivek Choudhary, Vice Chairman, CFBA, while presenting vote of thanks to the gathering,  reassured the Association's role of supporting its members in all as well as maintaining good relations with the shipping community as a whole for better future. He also requested to the shipping lines to pay brokerage on the total freight as it used to be paid.